Nine people who own the brand-new iPhone 6 Plus have already contacted Apple, upset about their warped devices, the tech giant said Thursday.
Apple Inc went into damage control mode, addressing what has come to be known as ‘BendGate’ by claiming that costumers’ complaints about iPhones warping are few and far between.
The statement from the tech giant came just hours after Apple pulled back a flawed software update.
‘With normal use, a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus,’ Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said in an email.
Apple shares closed down nearly 4 per cent at $97.87 Thursday, wiping out nearly $23billion in market value.
The new devices have faced criticism and widespread ridicule over their apparent bendability. Social media and online forums are overflowing with comments and memes poking fun at the phones’ ability to bend when placed in back pockets or while wearing skinny jeans.
Apple said its new batch of iPhones feature stainless steel and titanium inserts to reinforce high-stress locations and use the strongest glass in the smartphone industry.
The only way an iPhone may have bent is if someone put it in their back pocket and sat on the phone for a very long time, said Laban Roomes, chief executive of Goldgenie, which customizes and gold-plates iPhones.
Apple was also forced to withdraw a glitch-ridden update to its latest operating system after some users of its new phones complained of call service disruptions.
‘We apologize for the great inconvenience experienced by users,’ Muller said.
Apple said on its website it was working on an iOS update to fix the issue, and will release it in the next few days.
‘I do believe this speaks to execution issues at Apple,” said JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna. ‘At the end of the day I believe this too shall pass, but we are noting with concern that the miscues pile up.’
Apple said on Monday it had shipped 10million units of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Users of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus also complained about the inability to use the fingerprint-reading Touch ID after updating to iOS 8.0.1.
Some users had complained of ‘sluggish Wi-Fi and dwindling battery life’ after moving to iOS 8, Time magazine reported earlier this week.
Earlier today, Apple issued a step-by-step guide for users to reinstall iOS 8, launched last week, through the latest version of iTunes. The health app will not work for now and will be fixed in the next software update, the company said.
Customers might, however, hope for replacements for their bent iPhones, depending on whether their devices passed an inspection, tech news website The Next Web reported, quoting an Apple support executive.
Cases of bent iPhones 5 and 5s had been reported in 2013 by Cult of Mac, a website that exclusively covers Apple.
Rival smartphone manufacturers wasted no time taking digs at Apple’s woes.
A Samsung Electronics Co Ltd ad featured a bending phone against its own product, while BlackBerry Ltd CEO John Chen said: ‘I would challenge you guys to bend our Passport.’